Major Google Algorithm Updates

Everyone knows the importance of organic search traffic. Organic search traffic is the main source of traffic for all of the online businesses. No one wants to miss it. There are many search engines available like Google.com, Yahoo.com, Bing.com, Yandex.ru (Russia specific), Baidu.com (China specific) but Google holds the almost 80% of market stake in the online search business.

Google also working hard to give a better search experience to its visitors. As a part of better search experience, Google did many changes in its search algorithm. These Google algorithm updates left a significant impact on spammers and low-quality sites.

Major Google Algorithm Updates:

The search engine Google is continuously releasing new algorithm updates every year to secure the web. Some are big changes in the algorithm and some are minor. I listed below major Google algorithm updates.

Google Hummingbird Update:

Google released Hummingbird update for semantic search relevancy. Hummingbird focuses on the whole query in the search rather than the meaning of any particular word. It aims to show matched pages with a whole query rather than few words.

Advice:

1- Enlarge keyword research

2- Check Google auto-complete for keyword research

3- Try to avoid keywords having 1 or 2 words

 Google Panda Update:

Panda came to hit spammy sites with thin contents. Many of the sites got punished by Google Panda update. Google used to filter spammy, low quality and thin contents earlier by Panda but later Google included it with ranking algorithm.

Advice: 

1- Check Plagiarism Contents: Duplicate contents create a big problem and can invite Panda to hit you. To check external duplicate contents use Copyscape. It will help you to find duplicate contents.

2- Check Duplicate Contents: Internally duplicate contents also send an invitation to Panda and Panda will hit you very badly. To prevent duplication within the site keep running site audit periodically. Always use a different title and description for your site/post.

3- Don’t keep thin contents and keywords stuffing: Don’t write any post on your blog with few words (e.i 100 – 150 words). As per Yoast SEO plugin, you at least need 300 words in your post to make it SEO friendly. You also need not stuff excessive amount of keywords in your post.

Google Penguin Update:

Penguin update targets link spam over the web. Penguin does not bear the sites having spammy links (unnatural and irrelevant links) and links coming from private blog networks. It is also a part of Google ranking factor.

Advice:

1- Audit your backlinks time to time

2- Remove harmful and low-quality links

3- Stay away from Private Blog Networks

Google Pirate Update:

Google introduced a Pirate update to prevent sites who were infringing copyright materials. People are creating multiple copies of a site to sell same contents like books, movie, online songs etc.

Advice:

1- Don’t steal anyone’s copyright materials or don’t make yourself multiple copies of a site.

Google Pigeon Update:

Pigeon update rolled out to accurate the local search results. Pigeon also cares of distance and local parameters for the search ranking. It is working between local algorithm and the core algorithm.

Advice:

1- Setup Google my business page. Include your name, address, and phone number.

2- Properly optimize your pages

3 – Get added in relevant local directories like Yelp, TripAdvisor, Bing, Facebook etc.

Google Payday Update:

Payday update targeted spammy queries in the search like a payday loan, pornographic and other spammed queries. Google punishes websites that use search engine spam techniques to improve their rankings for specific search terms that are considered spammy. It is also known as spamdexing or Black Hat SEO technique.

Advice:

1- Don’t use spammy techniques to improve ranking.

Google Mobile Friendly Update:

Google released this update to boost the mobile-friendly pages in Google’s mobile search results. After a certain time period of the update, Google announced that Google would prefer to show mobile optimised pages in search on mobile devices.

Advice:

1- Use a responsive design of web so that it can be fit in any device.

Google EMD (Exact Match Domain) Update:

Google released EMD to prevent poor quality sites from ranking well simply because they had words that match search terms in their domain names.

Advice:

1- Improve contents quality, it will help to get benefit from exact (keyword) matched domain.

Google Top Heavy Update:

Google came with a top heavy update to prevent sites that were “top heavy” with ads from ranking well in its listings.

Advice:

1- Remove excessive ads from your site/web pages.

Wrapping it up:

In the past, many webmasters lost a lot once Google released the algorithm updates. People want a gain in a short time of periods and they use many unwanted/unnatural way to boost ranking but Google wants better search result to help people. These Google algorithm updates are the commitment of Google to show better results.

If you feel that I should add more please let me know and share the details.

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